Launching our publication on apprenticeships

,  17 March 2016

Eight years ago, there were no apprenticeships in the creative and cultural sector. Where the term was applied, it was often informal, with no educational supporting structure and often unpaid. This was bad for young people looking to start a career, and bad for an industry that needs creativity and diversity to thrive.

Image: North Hertfordshire College student (c) Warren Page
Image: North Hertfordshire College student (c) Warren Page

Read our new publication 'Building a Creative Nation: Putting Skills to Work'

At Creative & Cultural Skills, we worked with our partners in industry to form the first creative apprenticeship frameworks. These new apprenticeships were tested by a few pioneering employers and education providers, including many of our founder colleges. Numbers rose from tens to hundreds, and as they proved effective for all involved, businesses and educators started coming to us.

Creative businesses can no longer afford to ignore this route of recruiting and training their future workforce.

The launch of the Creative Employment Programme in 2013 provided an exponential leap forward. Multi-million pound investment from Arts Lottery funding from Arts Council England gave the wherewithal to tackle youth unemployment by providing paid opportunities for unemployed young people.

Using the engine of apprenticeships, paid internships and pre-employment training opportunities, the Programme can push to change recruitment culture in the arts and cultural sector, by helping to diversify the workforce and provide fair access and progression routes in the long term, to help the sector to meet its economic potential.

An altered apprenticeship landscape

At the conclusion of the Creative Employment Programme, the landscape of apprenticeships is already very different from when it began. The business case for employers to take on a creative apprentice has been made and resoundingly proven.

The newly-announced Apprenticeship Levy will drive large arts organisations and museums, as well as large commercial companies in the sector, to formalise their apprenticeship schemes and work with Recognised Training Providers. The message is clear: creative businesses can no longer afford to ignore this route of recruiting and training their future workforce.

Launching our apprenticeships publication

This publication will address some of the most important issues that the creative and cultural industry will face going forward with apprenticeships. But it will also celebrate the hard work and success of those apprentices and employers who have taken up the Creative Employment Programme. Almost 4,500 lives have been changed by the Programme, adding new energy and ability to the creative sector.

We look forward to the full impact evaluation report from CFE Research in 2017, and welcome their contribution to this publication: a celebration and a call to action for the sector to carry on the work of building a creative nation and putting the skills of the next generation to work.

Read our new publication Building a Creative Nation: Putting Skills to Work

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